Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise Names Alan Bernstein as Inaugural Executive Director, Opens New Secretariat

Enterprise appoints founding president of Canadian Institutes of Health

Research to head global effort to coordinate HIV vaccine development



Oct 11, 2007, 01:00 ET from The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the
 Keystone Symposium in Cape Town today, the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise
 announced the appointment of its first executive director and the opening
 of a new secretariat in New York City. Dr. Alan Bernstein, founding
 president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will lead the
 international alliance of researchers, funders and advocates dedicated to
 speeding the search for an HIV vaccine.
     Dr. Bernstein's appointment comes after the recent announcements by
 Merck, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the National Institute of
 Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regarding the discontinuation of
 immunizations in the STEP HIV vaccine trial.
     "The scientific challenges of developing an HIV vaccine are enormous,
 but the Enterprise's collaborative vision is a source of tremendous hope,"
 said Dr. Bernstein. "The challenge now is to build on this momentum and
 implement a coherent, integrated and global scientific strategy that will
 hasten development of an effective and safe vaccine. The world expects
 nothing less of all those engaged in this endeavor."
     The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is charged by its founders with
 setting scientific priorities, mobilizing resources, and improving
 collaboration in the HIV vaccine field. Originally proposed by 24 leading
 HIV vaccine researchers in 2003, the Enterprise has to date mobilized more
 than US$750 million in support of its scientific strategic plan. The
 Enterprise's plan focuses on six key research areas: vaccine discovery,
 laboratory standardization, product development and manufacturing, clinical
 trials capacity, regulatory issues and intellectual property.
     The Enterprise today also announced the opening of its first
 independent secretariat in New York and new funding commitments to support
 the coordinating role of the secretariat. The US National Institute of
 Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes
 of Health (NIH), has awarded up to US$7 million over the next seven years,
 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $20 million over the
 next four years to support the secretariat's activities.
     "The enormous scientific obstacles in identifying an effective HIV
 vaccine combined with the urgent need for improved HIV prevention support
 the need for increased coordination and collaboration globally to
 accelerate progress," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of NIAID. "Dr.
 Bernstein has a proven track record building a world-class scientific
 organization that brings together researchers, funders, advocates and
 industry. The Enterprise, under Dr. Bernstein's leadership, can bring new
 energy to the HIV vaccine field and help us work together in a coordinated
 manner to tackle these major obstacles as quickly as possible."
     Dr. Bernstein was previously the founding president of the Canadian
 Institutes of Health Research. Over the past seven years, he has built CIHR
 into one of the world's leading research agencies, supporting more than
 11,000 health researchers with an annual budget of US$1 billion.
     "Alan Bernstein's appointment as executive director brings increased
 momentum to the Enterprise's essential efforts to help accelerate the
 search for an HIV vaccine," said Dr. Seth Berkley, President and CEO of the
 International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. "This is a wonderful opportunity for
 those of us working in the field to derive an added level of synergy by
 working together across all stages of HIV vaccine development."
     "The Enterprise has an important role to play in ensuring that HIV
 vaccine development efforts match the magnitude of the pandemic. The 2005
 Enterprise scientific plan charts a broad path forward - we must explore
 multiple approaches and aggressively pursue novel scientific leads, working
 together in new ways," said Dr. Jos� Esparza, senior advisor on HIV
 vaccines for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "The Gates Foundation is
 committed to supporting the Enterprise secretariat, and to helping advance
 priorities in the Enterprise scientific plan through our support of the
 Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery."
     Dr. Bernstein received his Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics at the
 University of Toronto. Following postdoctoral work in London where he first
 began working on retroviruses, he returned to Canada to join the faculty of
 the Ontario Cancer Institute. He later served as head of the Division of
 Molecular and Developmental Biology at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research
 Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, and then its director of research.
     An internationally renowned researcher, he has made extensive
 contributions to the study of embryonic development, hematopoiesis and
 cancer. Dr. Bernstein has received a number of national and international
 awards for his research, and has served on a large number of international
 scientific bodies, including the scientific board of the Grand Challenges
 in Global Health initiative.
     "HIV affects more than 40 million people worldwide, and nearly 5
 million people are newly infected every year," said Dr. Helene Gayle,
 President and CEO of CARE and chair of the Enterprise coordinating
 committee. "An HIV vaccine, once developed, has the potential to save
 millions of lives and stop this pandemic. The Enterprise can speed the day
 when AIDS will no longer threaten us or our children."
     About the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise:
     The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is an alliance of independent
 organizations around the world dedicated to accelerating the development of
 a preventive HIV vaccine by implementing a shared scientific plan,
 mobilizing significant new funding for vaccine research, and promoting more
 efficient, faster ways for researchers to share successes and failures and
 avoid duplicating their efforts. The Enterprise brings together
 researchers, funders, and advocates from academia, government agencies,
 private industry, and non-governmental organizations in developed and
 developing countries. The Enterprise also engages the broader international
 community to support HIV vaccine research and make it an integral part of
 the global response to HIV/AIDS. http://www.hivvaccineenterprise.org.
 
 

SOURCE The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise
    CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the
 Keystone Symposium in Cape Town today, the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise
 announced the appointment of its first executive director and the opening
 of a new secretariat in New York City. Dr. Alan Bernstein, founding
 president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will lead the
 international alliance of researchers, funders and advocates dedicated to
 speeding the search for an HIV vaccine.
     Dr. Bernstein's appointment comes after the recent announcements by
 Merck, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and the National Institute of
 Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regarding the discontinuation of
 immunizations in the STEP HIV vaccine trial.
     "The scientific challenges of developing an HIV vaccine are enormous,
 but the Enterprise's collaborative vision is a source of tremendous hope,"
 said Dr. Bernstein. "The challenge now is to build on this momentum and
 implement a coherent, integrated and global scientific strategy that will
 hasten development of an effective and safe vaccine. The world expects
 nothing less of all those engaged in this endeavor."
     The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is charged by its founders with
 setting scientific priorities, mobilizing resources, and improving
 collaboration in the HIV vaccine field. Originally proposed by 24 leading
 HIV vaccine researchers in 2003, the Enterprise has to date mobilized more
 than US$750 million in support of its scientific strategic plan. The
 Enterprise's plan focuses on six key research areas: vaccine discovery,
 laboratory standardization, product development and manufacturing, clinical
 trials capacity, regulatory issues and intellectual property.
     The Enterprise today also announced the opening of its first
 independent secretariat in New York and new funding commitments to support
 the coordinating role of the secretariat. The US National Institute of
 Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes
 of Health (NIH), has awarded up to US$7 million over the next seven years,
 and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $20 million over the
 next four years to support the secretariat's activities.
     "The enormous scientific obstacles in identifying an effective HIV
 vaccine combined with the urgent need for improved HIV prevention support
 the need for increased coordination and collaboration globally to
 accelerate progress," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director of NIAID. "Dr.
 Bernstein has a proven track record building a world-class scientific
 organization that brings together researchers, funders, advocates and
 industry. The Enterprise, under Dr. Bernstein's leadership, can bring new
 energy to the HIV vaccine field and help us work together in a coordinated
 manner to tackle these major obstacles as quickly as possible."
     Dr. Bernstein was previously the founding president of the Canadian
 Institutes of Health Research. Over the past seven years, he has built CIHR
 into one of the world's leading research agencies, supporting more than
 11,000 health researchers with an annual budget of US$1 billion.
     "Alan Bernstein's appointment as executive director brings increased
 momentum to the Enterprise's essential efforts to help accelerate the
 search for an HIV vaccine," said Dr. Seth Berkley, President and CEO of the
 International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. "This is a wonderful opportunity for
 those of us working in the field to derive an added level of synergy by
 working together across all stages of HIV vaccine development."
     "The Enterprise has an important role to play in ensuring that HIV
 vaccine development efforts match the magnitude of the pandemic. The 2005
 Enterprise scientific plan charts a broad path forward - we must explore
 multiple approaches and aggressively pursue novel scientific leads, working
 together in new ways," said Dr. Jos� Esparza, senior advisor on HIV
 vaccines for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "The Gates Foundation is
 committed to supporting the Enterprise secretariat, and to helping advance
 priorities in the Enterprise scientific plan through our support of the
 Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery."
     Dr. Bernstein received his Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics at the
 University of Toronto. Following postdoctoral work in London where he first
 began working on retroviruses, he returned to Canada to join the faculty of
 the Ontario Cancer Institute. He later served as head of the Division of
 Molecular and Developmental Biology at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research
 Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, and then its director of research.
     An internationally renowned researcher, he has made extensive
 contributions to the study of embryonic development, hematopoiesis and
 cancer. Dr. Bernstein has received a number of national and international
 awards for his research, and has served on a large number of international
 scientific bodies, including the scientific board of the Grand Challenges
 in Global Health initiative.
     "HIV affects more than 40 million people worldwide, and nearly 5
 million people are newly infected every year," said Dr. Helene Gayle,
 President and CEO of CARE and chair of the Enterprise coordinating
 committee. "An HIV vaccine, once developed, has the potential to save
 millions of lives and stop this pandemic. The Enterprise can speed the day
 when AIDS will no longer threaten us or our children."
     About the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise:
     The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise is an alliance of independent
 organizations around the world dedicated to accelerating the development of
 a preventive HIV vaccine by implementing a shared scientific plan,
 mobilizing significant new funding for vaccine research, and promoting more
 efficient, faster ways for researchers to share successes and failures and
 avoid duplicating their efforts. The Enterprise brings together
 researchers, funders, and advocates from academia, government agencies,
 private industry, and non-governmental organizations in developed and
 developing countries. The Enterprise also engages the broader international
 community to support HIV vaccine research and make it an integral part of
 the global response to HIV/AIDS. http://www.hivvaccineenterprise.org.
 
 SOURCE The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise